A Few Promises About My Upcoming Book

A Few Promises About My Upcoming Book

I’m almost an author (meaning I’m almost finished writing my first book).

I’ve ALMOST written a book at least three times in the past (meaning I never really started). This time is different, though. I’m actually about 75% done with the first draft. If all goes well I’ll be pretty close to finished by the end of next week. I’m shooting to get it edited, proofed, and whatever other hoops I need to jump through so it can be printed by June 1st, or December 31st, or at least sometime before I’m 100 years old. Most likely June.

As I’ve watched others publish and promote their books lately, I have noticed a few things that, honestly, have made me go “ugggh!” Watching “the way it’s done now” has made me loathe the whole book publishing thing so much I have considered scrapping the book altogether on several occasions. Rather than do that, though, I’ve decided to make a few promises about my upcoming book. Although these are mostly promises to myself — so I may keep my sanity and integrity intact — I also think they’re pretty solid promises to make to anyone who might be even remotely interested in the book.

 

A few promises to you (and me) about my upcoming book:

 

I promise not to state, infer, or imply that my book will make your life 10,000 times better. I hope it gives you something to think about and encourages you to take some action, but that’s it. It ain’t the Bible and I’m certainly not going to pretend it is.

 

I promise not to mount a relentless campaign to get everyone to buy the book on the same day just so I can become a “Best Seller” for ten minutes on Amazon, The New York Times, or any other list. If I become a best seller, I want it to be because the book is so damn good that people buy it, love it, and tell their friends to buy it, too. Yeah, I know some “experts” will say I’m naive and that’s not the way it works. They can pound sand. Creating hyped up sales just so you can claim to be a best seller is borderline fraud and I just won’t do it.

 

I promise to keep it long enough to make my point but short enough to keep you awake. I read a review of another book on Amazon the other day that said “20% of the book was good, the other 80% was useless filler.” I’m working very hard to make sure nobody will be able to say that about my book.

 

I promise the book will NOT be a super long sales letter in disguise. Will I create a retreat experience from the content of the book? You bet (in fact, I already have). Will I leave key pieces of information out of the book to entice you to come to my retreat? Not a chance. I hate, hate, HATE that approach. I’m going to put it all in the book, baby. When you read the book, you’ll get it all. You won’t NEED to come to a retreat, but you’ll WANT to…and you’ll beg me to tell you when the next one is, ha ha!

With those simple promises I feel like I can finish this project and be proud of it, even if nobody ever reads it. That sounds funny to say about something that I am pouring so much time and energy into. But in the end, I think that’s WHY I can make these promises. I’m not trying to become famous or rich or “best-selling” by writing this book. I’m writing it because I think the topic is interesting, I like to write, and it’s a fun new experience for me. If anyone else enjoys it or benefits from it, well, that’s icing on the cake.

 

Almost forgot to tell you: The topic of the book is “Ordinary Superpowers”. I wrote about this in a previous blog post which you can check out here.

 

If you’d like to be notified when the book comes out, drop your email below. I hope you know by now that I won’t bombard you with emails about it, just one or two during the first few weeks after it comes out.

 

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I’m Done With Zombies (And Politicians)

It’s Spring and I’m in the mood to change my mood. A few weeks ago I cleaned out my closet and gave away half my clothes, including my varsity jacket. That was a great physical purge that really boosted my mood (still does every time I walk into my closet). Now I feel the urge to purge some of the mental clutter.

So, I’m going to turn off the TV.

Specifically I’m turning off The Walking Dead and House of Cards. I got started on both shows about a year ago and binged watched every episode on Netflix. I’ve been keeping up with the pretend zombies and pretend politicians ever since. And yes, saying zombies and politicians in the same sentence is redundant.

As compelling as these shows are, I really don’t like the way they make me feel when I watch them. They suck my energy in a far worse way than most television does. It’s no wonder, really. Both of those franchises showcase the worst of humanity: violence, greed, murder, selfish ambition, and more. Every time I watch them I just feel…icky. Looking back, I am surprised I got addicted to them at all. Such is the case with any drug, I suppose.

Oh yeah, I’m not watching any more debates, either. Same reason. Only those usually make me angry and sad and a little depressed. Not sure how I’ll figure out who to vote for, but I’ll find a way I’m sure.

I’d say I’m not going to watch the news anymore, either, but I gave up watching TV news (and reading the paper) years ago. That, without a doubt, has been one of the most positive things I’ve ever done.

To be clear, I’m not going full out Amish. I’ll still watch a movie here and there. I’ll still watch Shark Tank and The Profit like all good business owners should. But overall I’m going to watch TV a lot less and be a heck of a lot more picky with what I put in front of my face from now on.

Just making this decision I feel better already.

Anybody with me?

 

How A Control Freak Learned How To Delegate

As an entrepreneur (read “control freak”) I’ve never really known how to delegate. That’s not a good thing, but I am getting better. Nothing helps build skill better than a taste of success, though, so here’s a little story about how I’m learning how to delegate. Finally.

Our building used to be a paint factory. I know, cool, huh? The way they expanded the factory over time was to basically build a new building right up against the old one. What this means for us is that we have these large windows (that used to be exterior windows) between our office and the hall of our building that leads to the bathroom. A few years ago we started writing interesting quotes on the windows so our guests would continue to be inspired even during their potty breaks.

One of our former employees had been our scribe for a long time because she had decent handwriting. When she left I took over the windows. I tried my best to tame my penmanship, which most days looks worse than a prescription from a doctor who has had too much caffeine. I was actually a little proud of myself for making it fairly legible and keeping the lines almost straight.

Fast forward to last Friday.

I had new quotes picked out for the coming week and was headed to the hallway to scribble them on the glass. Then I remembered that Alisha, our new team member, has very nice handwriting. I know this because she wrote us a thank-you note after her interview…a lost art, by the way. I tentatively approached her and asked her:

“Hey, um, Alisha. Would you, um, like a, um, fun little project?”

As you can tell, I was, um, really sellin’ it.

Her enthusiastic, “SURE!” gave me a little more confidence. I proceeded to ask her if she would write the quotes on the windows this week. She agreed and went right to work.

Now it’s important for you to know that I spent, oh, maybe 10 minutes total on all four windows when I wrote the quotes. As I watched her progress from the office she easily spent 10 minutes PER WINDOW. From the very first letter her version was so much better than mine in every way. She is clearly gifted in window quote writing. And while I did it just because it needed to be done, she LOVED doing it and threw herself into it 100% — another important point to remember.

Just to show you the difference. Look back and forth at the picture from the top of this post and the picture below. It is the exact same window. Although I won’t hear you, please try not to laugh at my lame, lame attempt by comparison.

IMG_2994

 

 

 

When I wrote the quotes, people would glance at the quotes (maybe) as they traveled the hallway. Now people regularly stop DEAD IN THEIR TRACKS and stare at them. I hear people in 1953 had the same reaction when they saw the first color television.

Why am I telling you all of this? Because it so clearly demonstrates the power of delegation. Even in my second decade as a leader I still have a tendency to try to do everything myself. This isn’t good or even healthy, but I still do it. Even though I KNOW Alisha has way better handwriting than I do, I was reluctant to hand over the markers.

It’s hard to admit that other people can do things way better than I can. It’s helpful to remember that not only can they do them better, they actually ENJOY doing them and absolutely love it when I hand off something that I probably should have never done in the first place.

I now believe the vast — and I mean Grand Canyon sized vast — difference between Alisha’s window and mine was God’s way of telling me, “Hey dummy, see what good things happens when you let go?” I think he got tired of hinting and decided to hit me on the head with a neon dry erase marker this time. It worked.

I envy people who are great delegators. I definitely have a long way to go, but I’m working on it. Fortunately for me, the next time I struggle with delegating something, all I have to do is stop dead in my tracks and look at those windows on my next potty break.